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Happy Birthday, CA: CoachAccountable’s Now 3!

Lordy me, has another year gone by already?

Fresh from the Photoshop I mean bakery.

Fresh from the Photoshop I mean bakery.

Indeed!  It’s now been a full 3 years since the public release of CoachAccountable2.0, and what a delightful year.

Year 3 marked Team Edition’s move into real use.  Much like CoachAccountable Basic, Team had little uptake for the first few months of its public existence.  But after that similar stint in obscurity a number of organizations took to using it, and with that real world feedback I continued to refine it.

In a similar vein a few power users pushed the envelope of what they needed CA to be able to do, resulting in support for more complicated, fancy things like Group Courses, Group Item visibility settings, and weaving Project grouping into Course Action items.

Inspired by the needs and structure of some intricate programs offered via CA by power users, CoachAccountable also got Form-based worksheets, which when combined with Metrics and Courses make possible the delivery of some rather sophisticated programs indeed!

Teaching coaches to be better coaches with the benefit of CA was another direction of creative output this year, including videos on how to be an awesome coach with Appointments, Actions, and Metrics, and presented all together in an in-system Tutorial.

Click the "Tutorial" tab on the bottom right when logged in for these lessons.

Click the “Tutorial” tab on the bottom right when logged in for these lessons.

Here are some of the other fun things that got added in year 3:

  1. Sync with your regular calendar to avoid double booking and offer accurate scheduling options.
  2. Group Directories to let your group members opt to share contact information.
  3. Support for clients to pay your invoices online via Stripe or Authorize.net.
  4. A calendar feed for your clients so they’ll keep up on their appointments with you.
  5. Whiteboards for general purpose sharing and posting of information.
  6. System Email Addresses which are seriously cool but most people have overlooked: post messages and share files with the benefit of CA but do so from your regular email program.
  7. And perhaps my favorite, the spelling out of how I run this business known as the Terms of Awesome.

Oh yeah, and there’s an API now.

Way cuter now than when she was sporting the CA onesie.

Way cuter now than when she was sporting the CA onesie.

For me personally, the majority of CA’s third year was marked by the arrival and presence of our daughter, Kira, who was born one month in.  (She had a cameo appearance on this blog earlier, showing off the first ever CoachAccountable merchandise.)

Upon looking back at the list above I’m happy I managed to get as much done as I did, despite the broken sleep and adorable distraction!  Fun fact: both Kira and CA have tripled in size during this year, by weight and customers, respectively.

As CA’s third year comes to a close, I’ve an announcement that I’m very happy to make:

CoachAccountable mobile will be released in September.

It’s been in the works for a while now and coming together beautifully.  This is one of the most requested features for CA, and indeed one of the last major pieces of the system yet to come for it to be truly complete.

While fully functional on any device with a modern web browser, CA as-is takes some pinching and zooming to get around on a smartphone and so could be better.  Mobile means it’ll work great on smartphones for both you and your clients, making regular usage like reporting Metrics and scheduling Appointments super smooth and super practical to do on the go.

My focus with Mobile is to make things in the regular flow of coaching (and being coached) as good as they can be, so I’m keeping the stuff of getting set up (like building Courses and tinkering with configuration options) limited to the desktop version.

Here are a few screenshots.

Login page.  White label branded when appropriate:

Mobile Login

Actions.   Swiping on a given Action reveals relevant controls:

Mobile Actions

Setting up a new client Action:

Setting up a new Action.

Client Metrics:

Metrics with graphs sized to fit.

Looking Ahead

My CA Third Birthday

The near release of mobile-friendly CA is of course the most immediately exciting thing I have to point to.  You’re probably wondering, will CA be then found in the app stores?  The answer is yes, eventually.  I just haven’t yet worked out what to do about white label customers: it’s straightforward enough to put CA branded as CA into the app store, but submitting and maintaining apps and the approval process is much less tenable for a multitude of customers, and might well raise some ire with the folks at Apple who generally seem pretty keen on careful curating.

More teaching via tutorial videos is on the docket.  After making the well-received trio on Appointments, Actions and Metrics I put others on hold, realizing that there was still much changing in the system and it’s hardly fun to have to redo them (the Appointments tutorial, for example, is already outdated!).

Last year in this space I said I would be creating a CoachAccountable users group and an improved affiliate program.  Those didn’t happen, they probably will this year.  Call it part naivety in my estimation of what I could complete amid the onset of parenthood, and part they got bumped in favor of other things that weren’t then on my radar.

I’ve got work to do to grow the system to better fit more enterprise-y needs: a few times I’ve been asked how well CA would handle 1000+ clients, and the answer is it’ll take some tweaks so as not to be a clunky mess.  But there are still more goodies ahead for smaller coaching businesses as well, such as letting prospective clients schedule themselves for appointments.

All in all it’s been a good year, and I’m excited for the next one.  Growing and evolving this platform continues to be a lot of fun, and my thanks as always to the growing community of coaches and organizations on this journey with me.

8 Comments »

  1. Lyle Haugen said,

    August 30, 2015 @ 5:39 pm

    Just getting started as a Diabetic Health Coach. I believe your hard work is going to pay off for the both of us.

    Looking forward to the mobile version

  2. Twila said,

    August 30, 2015 @ 6:58 pm

    Hi John,
    You are the most amazing app guru I have encountered. I was one of the original users from the beginning and have to say that almost all the things I talked with you about originally have come to life right before my eyes due to your intellect, skill and hard work.
    You and CA are the best thing ever… forget about the apple pie,
    Warmest wishes for continuing success,
    Twila

  3. Paul Winkler said,

    August 31, 2015 @ 10:53 am

    Hi John,
    Happy Birthday to CoachAccountable! I’m really looking forward to another amazing year for my coaching business supported by an amazing platform!

    I’m excited about the mobile CA as well. All around great work.

    Best regards,
    Paul

  4. Nicole said,

    August 31, 2015 @ 11:02 am

    John,

    I’m so excited about the mobile release and super excited about your success and continued growth! This is a great system! You’re a great father and entrepreneur! I love how personable you are and how evident it is that you’re doing this for us coaches. Thank you!!! To your continued success

    Nicole

  5. Keandra said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 12:25 am

    Hey John!

    I am new to CA still in my 30 day trial mode! However I am extremely impressed not only by the platform but also the amount of content and development that you all provide to insure that our experience is an excellent one! I am extremely impressed!

  6. Chris said,

    September 1, 2015 @ 3:33 am

    Hi John

    Happy Birthday to CoachAccountable and congratulations on a job well done! Your software is helping many coaches and clients and is continuing to come up with some great new features.

    Chris

  7. Jamie said,

    September 2, 2015 @ 1:34 am

    Happy Birthday, John! Congrats to you on such a successful year. We are so excited to hear about CA going mobile. Thank you! We are continually impressed by CA and so thankful to have a tool like this to manage our coaching business and provide such a valuable tool to our clients. Our business would not have grown without your support and CA.

    Thank you to you.
    Jamie

  8. Jo Ilfeld said,

    September 11, 2015 @ 6:53 pm

    Looks awesome!

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